The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle said armed groups residing in the state travel to other parts of northwest Nigeria to carry out violent attacks.
The Governor said armed groups use the forests in Zamfara to stage terror attacks in other parts of the region, especially in states that are not receptive to non-military measures in addressing the conflict.
The Governor made this revelation while hosting the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of the State Security Service at the Government House, Gusau during an official engagement in the state.
The Governor urged the visiting security chiefs for special attention on Zamfara State, “as it is the epicenter of armed bands” and terrorism in the region.
“Bandits from these (forest) centres will go to other states far away and operate, only to come back again,” Governor Matawalle added.
“Why I said so is because all the bandits and their leaders are in Zamfara state. We need proper coordination among the security formation in the country.
There should be synergy among the security agencies because when these criminals are attacked in the neighbouring Katsina state, they escape to Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states”
The Governor further added that “if we really want to end the menace of banditry in Nigeria, we must give Zamfara State special treatment in the fight against banditry because our forests are their major homes”, he added.
HumAngle had earlier reported how conflicting decisions between state governments in northwest Nigeria creates complications in tackling the problem. While Zamfara holds dialogue, Katsina and Sokoto call for a sustained military campaign.
A statement signed by Zailani Baffa the Special Adviser on Media and Communications to the Governor said that the solutions to violent banditry in Nigeria lies in solving the one in Zamfara State.
The Inspector-General of police states that he has been delegated by the president to meet alongside other stakeholders to discuss the way forward on banditry bedevilling the region.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed grave concern about the security situation in the state, especially in Northwest Nigeria.